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How many miles should you get from bike tires?

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

How many miles should you get from bike tires?

Old 09-28-10, 12:13 PM
  #1  
davidfilmer
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How many miles should you get from bike tires?

I wore clean through my heavy-duty deep-tread rear tire after about 7000 miles of city riding. The guy at the bike shop told me that's not bad.

I'm somewhat new to riding, but I expect my car tires to get about 60,000 miles (at least) - and that's just until there's not enough tread (not to wear clean through the tire). I guess it would take double that to actually wear a hole in an auto tire.

I did not expect to be replacing a bike tire after 7000 miles. How long should a good quality rear tire last?
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Old 09-28-10, 12:31 PM
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4000 miles is really good for a bicycle tire. keep in mind, a car tire that goes to 60,000 is a plastic donut that doesn't grip anything but will be 'good enough' to handle the average commuting and putzing around.
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Old 09-28-10, 12:35 PM
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Answer: It depends on:

1. Your weight
2. Tire width
3. Tire PSI
4. Roads you ride
5. Front vs back (front lasts longer)
6. Other variables

Bottom line is that 7K miles is pretty good for a tire, especially a rear tire ridden on city streets.

Most "performance" road tires will last approx 3K miles, give or take 1K.
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Old 09-28-10, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by davidfilmer View Post
I wore clean through my heavy-duty deep-tread rear tire after about 7000 miles of city riding.
That's not bad.
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Old 09-28-10, 12:46 PM
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7000 is very good. I've had race tires that started showing cords at the overlap after 1500 or 2000 miles.
My car tires don't last 60k miles either.. more like 15 or 20k. High performance tires trade grip (and rolling resistance for bike tires) for longevity.
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Old 09-28-10, 12:47 PM
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7K? That's pretty damn good. Whatever tire that is, I'd buy another.
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Old 09-28-10, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by ericm979 View Post
High performance tires trade grip (and rolling resistance for bike tires) for longevity.
and with ANY 2-wheeled vehicle, grip is massively important since a momentary loss of grip frequently means crash and with a bicycle, you're working with such small margins of weight and size that there's just not much room to over-engineer things.
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Old 09-28-10, 12:55 PM
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I've got as many as 4,000 miles but I generally change them around 2,500 miles. Once I start getting more flats than usual I know it's time to change them.
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Old 09-28-10, 12:55 PM
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car tires ~ 30,000 miles
bike tires ~ 2,500 miles
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Old 09-28-10, 12:57 PM
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7000? In the city? When did you buy these tires? 1998?
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Old 09-28-10, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by davidfilmer View Post
I wore clean through my heavy-duty deep-tread rear tire after about 7000 miles of city riding.

I'm somewhat new to riding
If you have ridden in the city 7000 miles you are no longer new to riding.
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Old 09-28-10, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by davidfilmer View Post
I wore clean through my heavy-duty deep-tread rear tire after about 7000 miles of city riding.
Wow, that's pretty impressive! What tires were they? I'm going to have to replace the tires on my CX bike before long...
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Old 09-28-10, 01:41 PM
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I want those tires! Pretty impressive wear!
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Old 09-28-10, 02:01 PM
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I think you can push any tire well beyond its intended lifetime. Of course you exchange that for poor traction and flat resistance.
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Old 09-28-10, 02:08 PM
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The secret lies in answering datlas's list. If you want long-life from tyres, get the biggest you can fit in your frame and run at as low a pressure as possible. Just enough to prevent pinched flats. I've gotten 8000-10000 miles out of touring tyres easily. I also run a larger back tyre than the front so I can use the same pressure and they wear out at the same time.

A 700x32c rear / 700x26c rear at 70psi worked well for my touring bike with about 40-45 lbs of gear in the back panniers. Road bike usually has 26/28c combo. Race bike has 20/22mm tyres. I tried 18mm tyres when they were a fad back in the late'80s/early-90s, wow, those suckers wore out in about 1000 miles.
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Old 09-28-10, 03:14 PM
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YMMV...duh
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Old 09-28-10, 03:18 PM
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7,000 miles is good, how on earth do you get 60,000 miles out of your cars tires. Does it even grip? I'll be lucky if i get 10,000 out of my rear tires on my car.
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Old 09-28-10, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by wrr1020 View Post
7,000 miles is good, how on earth do you get 60,000 miles out of your cars tires. Does it even grip? I'll be lucky if i get 10,000 out of my rear tires on my car.
I get that much on mine.. 112k miles on it and I'm coming up on needing the third set that's been on the car.
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Old 09-28-10, 04:50 PM
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I've been using top of the line clincher tires for many years and only weigh 135-140. If I can get 2000-2500 miles from a rear tire, I feel lucky. A front tire can last twice as long, if it doesn't die from a cut.
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Old 09-28-10, 04:52 PM
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7000 is amazing! I often only get 1800 out of my rear tire.
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Old 09-28-10, 05:17 PM
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i've never even gotten half of that (3500) on a tire.
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Old 09-28-10, 05:19 PM
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the 3500 was in parenthesis above for those mathematically challenged.
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Old 09-28-10, 05:38 PM
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I've yet to wear out a tire. I continue to wear down them though. They get too many gashes, punctures and gouges to warrant any faith usually by mile 1000. San Jose sucks @ maintaining their roads. The Flea market that I have to ride through if I don't want to add 25 minutes to my commute is the worst. broken glass and metal shavings every damn day, but the 2nd Tuesday of the month...
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Old 09-28-10, 07:13 PM
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You know some people just don't pay attention to their tires (not saying the OP doesn't). But I recently saw a kid riding a tire that was so bald and falling apart at the sidewalls that I didn't believe it was even safe to ride. When I pointed it out to him, he didn't even care.
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Old 09-29-10, 12:09 AM
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Something's not right in this post. 7000 miles and you're new to biking? Are we talking maybe about 700 miles? If I chewed through a tire in 700 miles, sure, I'd be mad. But if I got 7000 miles out of the tire I would (A) not be new to biking anymore, and (B) be amazed that the tire lasted that long.

In 7000 miles I would expect to also need a new chain, new shoes, new bar tape, new brake pads.... and some of those things several times.
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